• synonyms


[suhs-tuh n-tey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for sustentation on Thesaurus.com
  1. maintenance in being or activity; the sustaining of life through vital processes.
  2. provision with means or funds for upkeep.
  3. means of sustaining life; sustenance.
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Origin of sustentation

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin sustentātiōn- (stem of sustentātiō) an upholding, equivalent to sustentāt(us) (past participle of sustentāre, frequentative of sustinēre to sustain) + -iōn- -ion
Related formssus·ten·ta·tion·al, adjectivesus·ten·ta·tive [suhs-tuh n-tey-tiv, suh-sten-tuh-tiv] /ˈsʌs tənˌteɪ tɪv, səˈstɛn tə tɪv/, adjectiveself-sus·ten·ta·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sustentation

Historical Examples

  • Power of sustentation; the quality of sustaining a weight in the air.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • She wishes you to give her a legal promise of marriage, and sustentation.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • This defection from within not made up by sustentation from without.

  • Now, Nature is sufficient of itself, not only for sustentation, but also for creation.


    Joseph Le Conte

  • The one concerns the laws of sustentation of the system, the other the laws of evolution.


    Joseph Le Conte

British Dictionary definitions for sustentation


  1. a less common word for sustenance
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Word Origin

C14: from Latin sustentātio, from sustentāre, frequentative of sustinēre to sustain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sustentation


late 14c., from Anglo-French, Old French sustenacion, from Latin sustenationem (nominative sustenatio), noun of action from past participle stem of sustenare, frequentative of sustinere (see sustain).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper